Waste collectors seek better working conditions

Waste collectors seek better working conditions

Waste collectors seek better working conditions

Turkish street waste collectors have been waiting for legislation from authorities to improve their working conditions, the head of an NGO has said.

Keeping the environment clean in addition to contributing to the economy, street waste collectors have played a vital role on the front lines during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Now they seek better working conditions and social security.

Recep Karaman, the chairman of the Street Waste Collectors Association, stated that 80 percent of waste on the streets across the country was collected by them.

“We collect [waste] informally and under unsanitary conditions, but somehow we close that gap in this recycling system,” he said.

Karaman stated that the Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Ministry initiated a major study on the integration of street collectors into the zero-waste system, adding that he expects a project that would improve the unhealthy field conditions.

“An arrangement to be made will enable us to work safely in the field,” he noted, adding that they received a clear commitment from Minister Murat Kurum.

“We want to have social security and want to do this work as a profession,” he said.